The world will face a massive environmental crisis in the 21st century unless immediate action is taken, according to a report issued by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) on September 15, 1999. UNEP billed the report, titled Global Environment Outlook 2000 (GEO-2000), as the most authoritative assessment of environmental issues ever produced.
Policy-related effort towards environmental protection in Nepal has been carried out since the Sixth Plan. By ratifying various international treaties and conventions on environment, different projects have been formulated and launched in order to implement the concept of sustainable development in the context of Nepal. Environment Protection Act, 1997 and Regulation, 1997, have been implemented. It is essential to pass the concept of environmental management in development programs at all levels, from central to local level, through decentralized programs. High emphasis has been given to the environmental aspect in Millennium Development Goals and Sustainable Development Agenda for Nepal. Since environment is a multi-sector and multidimensional subject, it is vital to promote the participation of the government, NGOs, local agencies and the private sector in the environment sector. Therefore, by including all stakeholders in environmental management, development efforts should focus towards the proper management of natural resources and achievement of sustainability in its use. Likewise, it is also essential to give priority to the development of human resources and utilization of available human resources in environmental management.
Review of the current situation
With the objective of integrating environmental management with development, 68 projects have been evaluated according to the policy of getting Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) done. Cleanliness and public awareness programs have been launched for the environmental improvement at local level. Inclusion of environmental aspects in the formulation of plans by District Development Committees has been institutionalized. Environment education has been incorporated in the curriculum from the primary level to the University level thereby; producing high-level human resources at the national level.
For the control of vehicular pollution and industrial disposal, 14 different bylaws have been formulated and implemented. The task of safely storing persistent organic pollutants remaining with Nepal has been completed, whereas for safe disposal, a national implementation plan has been prepared. IN the course of implementing international conventions on environment, national notices according to the Convention on Climate Change and national reports on the implementation status of the Convention on Desertification have been prepared. Whereas in the context of implementing the Convention on the Protection of Ozone Layer, Ozone Depleting Substances Consumption Rules, 2001 has been implemented to prohibit import of ozone layer depleting substances.
In order to implement the Convention on Biological Diversity, strategy implementation plan on ecological diversity has been prepared. Sustainable Development Agenda for Nepal (SDAN) program is in operation. There has been wide expansion in the role of local agency, NGOs, community organizations and the private sector in the sector of environmental protection.
- Inadequate priority by the concerned authorities to environmental management policies while implementing their programs.
- Lack of clear balance between different sectoral policies/programs and environmental policies/programs.
- Lack of inter-agency coordination.
- Insufficient level of awareness on environment protection in targeted communities.
- Lack of coordination in tasks conducted by the NGOs and donor agencies.
Effective implementation of formulated policy on environmental management as well as EIA report along with approved bylaws, and ensuring an individual’s right to live in a healthy environment exist as major challenges.
- Increase in public awareness.
- Increase in bilateral and multilateral assistance.
- Production of human resource within the country.
- Increase in the commitment towards international treaties and agreements.
Long Term Vision
The long term vision of environmental management is to create a clean and healthy environment through effective environmental management and to achieve sustainable development through the wise use of natural resources.
- To emphasize protection, restoration and sensible use of natural environment.
- To promote sustainable development through people’s participation in the campaigns to mitigate urban pollution, to make rural area clean and beautiful and to ensure an individual’s right to live in a clean environment.
- To implement national and international commitment on environmental management effectively.
- Launch development programs by internalizing environmental management.
- Mobilize non-government private sector, local agencies and the public in increasing public awareness on environment.
- Determine and implement additional bylaws on air, water, soil and sound pollution.
Policy and working policies
- Contributions will be made towards achieving the goal of sustainable development. Through protection, conservation and management of natural resources and through pollution prevention and control.
- By integrating environmental aspects in social and economic development programs through EIA system, improvements will be made in the quality of environment by means of environment-friendly development.
- Environmental monitoring and auditing will be institutionalized. Through an effective implementation of the approved EIA report.
- Public awareness on protection and conservation of environment will be increased.
- Through proper development and utilization of knowledge, skill and capacity in the environment sector, national capacity will be enhanced.
- Participation of local agencies, community and NGOs in the environment sector will be promoted.
- Treaties and conventions, to which Nepal has endorsed, will be implemented.
- Carbon trade will be promoted to achieve benefit from Clean Development Mechanism under the Kyoto Protocol.
- Existing bylaws on water and air quality will be implemented effectively. Additional bylaws will be formulated and implemented to measure expected standard of water, air, soil and noise.
- In order to mitigate effects on environment, necessary mechanism will be developed and implemented under the principles of “Polluters Pay” and “Pollution Prevention Pays”.
- Public awareness program: To produce, distribute and publicize audio visual materials on environmental management and impact mitigation.
- National heritage preservation program: To renovate and preserve nationally important temples and monasteries, rivers, lakes, ponds, wetlands etc.
- Implementation of international commitments
- To publicize and implement conventions on environment to which Nepal has endorsed.
- To formulate a national policy on climate change.
- To promote carbon trading to achieve benefit from Clean Development Mechanism under to Kyoto Protocol.
- Promotive program: To encourage and felicitate individuals and organizations, contributing to environmental conservation and preservation.
- River cleaning program in Kathmandu valley and urban areas: To control pollution, in the rivers of Kathmandu valley and in urban areas.
- Program on safe disposal of persistent pollutants: To safely dispose POPs remaining in Nepal.
- Formulation, implementation and monitoring of bylaws:
- To implement bylaws on water and air quality effectively and to formulate additional bylaws to measure expected standard of water, air, soil and noise.
- To measure pollution in sensitive areas of Kathmandu valley through micro-level study of CO2, CO, NOx, SO2, O3 and dust particles in order to reduce air pollution in the valley.
- To measure noise levels in sensitive areas in Kathmandu with significant level of noise pollution, and to review the study data.
- To monitor the implementation of air quality bylaw to control indoor pollution.
- To control vehicular pollution.
- To organize and assist in organizing programs to implement bylaws.